Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

131

Ron Di Salvio: Essence of Green

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Essence of Green is pianist/composer Ron Di Salvio's nod to the music created by Miles Davis and his sextet on the classic album, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). The sound that opens the album on "Six Shades of Green" is unmistakable: that elastic, slow-loping rhythm from Davis' "All Blues," with bassist Rodney Whitaker front-and-center here, backed by a simmering, just-a-hint ahead-of-the-beat drummer wielding the sticks with sublime subtlety and a gentle, implacable forward drive.

That's Jimmy Cobb in the drummer's chair, The Jimmy Cobb, from the original Kind of Blue date. He is masterfully understated throughout, supplying always impeccable time and light textures.

Miles Davis created a wide range of sound in his long career—from the bop of his Charlie Parker sideman days in the late forties and early fifties, though the modal attack of the mid-sixties into the fusion birth of the late sixties and early seventies. A tribute to take it all in would never work. Di Salvio's zeroing in on the 1959 time frame makes perfect sense, especially since his sound—a light touch, the impossibly beautiful clustering of chords—parallels the Wynton Kelly/Bill Evans approach.

The line-up—saxophones and trumpet with the rhythm team—mirrors Davis' late fifties band. Compositionally, the tunes allow the same freedom to improvise, creating a hundred small magical moments: Jimmy Cobb's soft rumble behind trumpeter Derrick Gardner's very Miles-like muted trumpet on "Miles Davis-Bill Evans Reunion in the Sky"; the well-placed space between De Salvio's chords on the same tune; Gardner's long stretched open horn line sounding like something from Davis' Milestones (Columbia, 1958) album; the emergence of the silken four-part vocal harmony on "Essence of Green" and Diego Rivera's restrained yet deeply soulful tenor sax solo on the tune.

The addition of the vocal quartet on two tunes—a gorgeously pure melding of four human voices on "Essence of Green" and "Good Morning Santa Cruz"—is an unusual move that works wonderfully, and makes one wonder why it isn't done more often in jazz.

Ron Di Salvio's Essence of Green pays tribute to Miles Davis' 1959 sound rather than recreate it. It is a brilliantly-conceived, beautifully-executed work.


Track Listing: Six Shades of Green; Crossing Lines; Green Pastures; Essence of Green; Primavera; Cobb's Throb; Miles Davis-Bill Evans Reunion in the Sky; Good Morning Santa Cruz; Arcadia; Wasabi.

Personnel: Derrick Gardner: trumpet; Diego Rivera: tenor saxophone; Pat Terbrack: alto saxophone; Ken Morgan: flute, baritone saxophone; Ron Di Savio: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums; vocals (4, 8): Aubrey Johnson: soprano; Johnaye Kendrick: alto; Andy Inglat: tenor; JC Coffey: bass.

Title: Essence of Green | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Double Down" CD/LP/Track Review Double Down
by James Nadal
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "A Cast of Thousands" CD/LP/Track Review A Cast of Thousands
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!